ONE POEM – Sarah Degner Riveros

Photo by Martin Adams on Unsplash

Taco Tuesdays

For Don Miguel

On Tuesdays at La Palmita,
the whole east side shows up
for tacos de a dólar. Don
Miguel, él de la grúa, leaves
his tow truck parked out
back to serve plates hot.
Construction guys, dressed
in bright yellow vests,
piden diez, para llevar.
Parents show up with
chamacos in hats and socks,
coats unzipped. The wait is
an hour, easy. But the tacos
a dollar; and the salsa verde
is that good. Mom with magenta
hair laughs loud, whispers in
her daughter’s braids as
they wait together in line.
It’s long. Mama hugs
her son. Can we get
horchata? No. Not today.
It’s Tuesday. Treinta tacos?
De asada? Para llevar.
The wait’s worth it. We
stay, meet our neighbors,
sit still mirando Televisa.
In the realism of working
mama’s urban survival kit,
tacos are a cheap magic trick.



arah Degner Riveros was born in Chicago and grew up in Texas; she studied at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Universitat de Barcelona, and Columbia University in New York where she earned a doctorate in Spanish literature. She teaches at Augsburg University in Minneapolis, Minnesota where she is currently working on an MFA in poetry and creative nonfiction. Her work has appeared in Bearings, Brain; Child, Mothering, New Beginnings, Murphy Square Quarterly, and forthcoming in Azahares and Willawaw. She is a single mother of five children.

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